Boy at home with family

Initiatives and support for better housing outcomes

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is working with housing providers to trial initiatives to get better results for people with complex issues and severe housing needs.

People with the most complex needs may have a record of behaviour that makes it difficult to retain stable housing, putting them at risk of homelessness. With stable housing and tailored support, people are far more likely to gain control over their lives, be safer and healthier, and stay in school or work.

These initiatives will give us evidence about what works so that we can invest in support that makes a difference.


Housing First

New Zealand cities, particularly Auckland, have people who are homeless and are sleeping rough. They often have complex issues with addiction or mental illness. Stable housing is a vital first step in helping them turn their lives around.

In March 2017, community housing providers in Auckland launched a programme called Housing First. The pilot is funded by Government ($3.7 million) and Auckland Council ($1 million) and supported by MSD. The trial offers 472 homeless people a stable place to live and wrap-around support to address the causes of their homelessness.

The Housing First approach has been successful internationally in reducing chronic homelessness and has been operating successfully in Hamilton since 2014. Budget 2017 allocated $16.45m to expand Housing First into other high-need regions, funding a further 500 new housing places.


Sustaining Tenancies

Staying in stable housing gives people the best opportunity to improve their lives. Launched in early 2017, with Housing New Zealand and MSD, Sustaining Tenancies sees providers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch working closely with social housing tenants with complex needs. It aims to help people retain their tenancies and get the support they need.


Positive Housing Pathways

A Positive Housing Pathways initiative will fund social housing for people leaving prison, who are in a reintegration programme. It will include 125 housing places in Auckland and 125 across the rest of the country. It will also fund support services to help the ex-prisoners build on the support they received in prison and continue to turn their lives around.


Supported accommodation for youth

Since 1 July 2015, MSD has contracted providers in Christchurch, Palmerston North and Auckland to provide accommodation and social support for up to 21 young people in need of housing and to reduce pressure on the social housing register.


Emergency accommodation for perpetrators of family violence

From November 2016, combined agencies are piloting an emergency accommodation initiative for perpetrators of family violence who have been removed from their home following a police safety order.

Emergency accommodation reduces the risk of a perpetrator breaching their police safety order and returning home because they have nowhere else to stay, and allows families to stay in their home.

In Christchurch, North Canterbury and the Waikato, MSD has contracted organisations experienced in emergency housing and support services for perpetrators and families of family violence.